Communication lines restored as relentless rains cut off Quetta

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QUETTA: Relentless rains continued to pound Quetta on Friday, leaving Balochistan’s capital cut off from the rest of the country, however, communication lines were restored in the city after being cut for nearly 24 hours. “Affected voice and data services in Balochistan have been restored,” the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on its official Twitter handle. Earlier, the telecommunication authority said that due to torrential rains and flash floods, the company’s optical fibre cable had been damaged. “The PTA said that voice and data services have been impacted in Quetta, Ziarat, Khuzdar, Loralai, Pashin, Chaman, Panjgor, Zhob, Qila Saifullah, and Qila Abdullah. Severe overnight rains hampered rescue efforts, and caused internet and mobile phone service outages, aside from disrupting the city’s air and land routes. A key railway bridge which connects Quetta to other parts of Pakistan collapsed and flight operations to and from the provincial capital’s airport were also suspended. The railway bridge collapsed near the Mach area in the Bolan district in the early hours of Thursday, which also suspended trade with Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, a Pakistan Railways official said. “Authorities have launched efforts to repair the bridge that was built by the British in 1885,” the official added. In light of the rapidly worsening situation, the city administration issued a flood warning and asked people to contact two emergency numbers — 03368186794 and 03361187348 — in case of need. Unfortunately, with no electricity since last night, police personnel and civil administration are not reachable on the issued numbers. Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) official Faisal Tariq said that hundreds were stranded due to floods after the heavy rains, however, rescue efforts were underway to take people to safe places. In its latest report on the rain-related damage, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) revealed that 34 more people died during the last 24 hours. As a result of the fresh death toll, the total countrywide count has risen to 937 during this monsoon season, while 1,343 were injured after the new tally of injuries. The report stated that more than 670,000 houses were damaged while nearly 800,000 animals died in the floods. It added that Tarbela Dam is filled to capacity while Chashma Barrage was about to be filled.

 

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